bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one whose business is cutting and dressing hair, shaving and trimming beards, and performing related services


barbered; barbering\ ˈbär-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Definition of barber (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber for : trim or groom the hair or beard of

intransitive verb

: to perform the services of a barber


biographical name
Bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce Barber (audio) \

Definition of Barber (Entry 3 of 3)

Samuel 1910–1981 American composer

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of barber in a Sentence

Noun He goes to a barber downtown. went to the barber to get his hair cut and his beard trimmed
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Employers like barber shops and dental offices that furloughed or cut workers during the onset of shutdowns were able to bring those workers back once their states eased up on restrictions. Fortune, "By one measure, this recovery is 10 times faster than the one after the Great Recession—but there’s a catch," 5 Jan. 2021 At one point, indoor restaurant dining and barber shops and salons were among the businesses that had to shut down in Arkansas and elsewhere because the disease is so contagious. Debra Hale-shelton, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | DEBRA HALE-SHELTON: A letter of love from daughter to dad," 4 Jan. 2021 The team is visiting food pantries, senior housing, barber shops and beauty salons, among other locations. Sujata Srinivasan,, "Flu fighters combat vaccination fears in New Haven," 28 Dec. 2020 Black and Hispanic workers are disproportionately represented in some of the industries that suffered most, such as restaurants and barber shops. Julia Pollak, WSJ, "Why the U.S. Economy Will Take Off in 2021," 10 Dec. 2020 On May 26, that included hair salons and barber shops, the Associated Press reported. Sarah Midkiff,, "California Salons Face A Devastating Third COVID Shutdown," 8 Dec. 2020 In Chicago, Lightfoot was criticized early in the pandemic for getting her hair done after Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order which also closed down barber shops. Gregory Pratt,, "Wrigleyville alderman allowed diners inside his restaurant in violation of COVID-19 rules, calls it an ‘error in judgment’," 7 Dec. 2020 Under the order, business that must close include bars, wineries, personal services like hair salons and barber shops, museums, movie theaters, playgrounds, amusement parks and indoor recreation facilities. Paul Vercammen, CNN, "Tens of millions in California under stay-at-home order starting Sunday night," 5 Dec. 2020 The restrictions, which will last at least three weeks, mean that zoos, nail salons and barber shops will close; shopping centers will take in fewer customers at a time; and restaurants are only open for take-out, pick-up or delivery. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Climbing hospitalizations trigger new stay-at-home order, starting Sunday night," 5 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From the porch of his childhood home in Cherry Hill to barber shops across Baltimore, Troy Staton, 52, has cut hair for nearly four decades. Tatyana Turner,, "Baltimore barber who offers more than haircuts awarded community grant to help more clients," 14 Dec. 2020 The new campus will have a 28-chair clinic classroom, 12-chair barbering clinic classroom and five large classroom spaces for more training. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Paul Mitchell The School Milwaukee is moving from Waukesha to Wauwatosa," 11 Feb. 2020 Roger Federer, while not infallible, can play when there is barbered grass underfoot. The Si Staff,, "Wimbledon 2018 Preview Roundtable: Predictions, Dark Horses, More," 29 June 2018 Ethos, Jacobs’ barbering biz featuring a traveling grooming station, was born. Elizabeth Wellington,, "A mobile barbershop experience that elevates the culture of the gentleman | Elizabeth Wellington," 21 June 2018 Missouri law requires a training course of 1,000 hours for barbering and 1,500 hours for hairdressing, followed by a licensing exam. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "African-style hair braiders lose appeal of Missouri licensing law," 11 Jan. 2018 The center offers auto and collision training in several garage bays, a welding shop, a dental lab, a cosmetology and barbering center, graphic arts and a culinary arts program. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "New Gary Career Center director touts plans to fill empty classrooms," 23 Dec. 2017 But barbering was hard on daddy’s feet, and mother was homesick. WSJ, "Wanda Jackson Helped Put the Growl in Rockabilly," 19 Dec. 2017 There are still all kinds of souvenirs and reminders of the two Italian barbers and their customers: postcards stuck into the mirrors, decades of shavers and other barbering gadgetry. Polly Campbell,, "A cut and a cappuccino on Garfield Place: Ferrari Barbershop and Coffee Co.," 12 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'barber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of barber


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for barber


Middle English, from Anglo-French barbour, from barbe beard — more at barb

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about barber

Time Traveler for barber

Time Traveler

The first known use of barber was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for barber

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Barber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for barber


How to pronounce Barber (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of barber

: a person whose job is to cut men's hair


bar·​ber | \ ˈbär-bər How to pronounce barber (audio) \

Kids Definition of barber

: a person whose business is cutting hair and shaving and trimming beards

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on barber

What made you want to look up barber? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!